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The "miracle" of the walking stick in bloom

Luthereiche
Many legends surround the Luther Oak in Wittenberg (epd-bild/Steffen Schellhorn)

 

Some Luther legends are connected with Luther Oaks, Luther Beeches or Luther Linden Trees. One of the most well-known is the Luther Oak in Wittenberg. According to a legend, it was planted one day after December 10th, 1520, at exactly the place where the Reformer had burned the papal bull of excommunication, as well as books of his enemies.

Under the spell of love, a student fights for his sweetheart

A student from Wittenberg, an ardent supporter of Luther, loved a girl, whose grandmother adhered to the old church and therefore objected to the relationship. It is said that, out of curiosity, the old woman walked with her granddaughter through the Elster gate, to the pile of ash that was still smoking. There, they met students, who gave an enthusiastic report about the incineration.

Full of rage, the grandmother rammed her walking stick into the earth and decided that the unsuccessful suitor should not get permission to wed her granddaughter until it had begun to green. The student found a young oak and planted it at the place where the cane stuck. In Spring, he reported to the grandmother the "miracle" of the walking stick in bloom.

Wittenberg's Luther Oak is dying

Martin Luther himself is said to have performed the wedding of the couple. In 1813, during the Napoleonic Wars, the oak was cut down because fuel was needed. The Luther Oak that stands in Wittenberg today, was planted in 1830. On Christmas Eve 1904, an unknown person tried in vain to cut it down. Today, it is a dying tree.